A striking portrayal of Victory is the first of the six ‘Queen’s Virtues’ in EIC’s new proof coin series

It’s probably fair to say that Britain’s monarchy has been woven into the worlds history, certainly in the last millennia, in a way that few other institutions have. Exerting huge influence, especially over the last three centuries, some have even managed to stand out in that crowd. One in particular is Queen Victoria. During her 63 year reign, second only in length to the current monarch, Victoria watched over a revolution in industry, and an empire beyond compare. The 19th century was a breakneck one, arguably creating more social change than the preceding two millennia had done and we call it now, the Victorian Age.

There’s a lot of idealistic nonsense applied to the harsh realities of life during that period – it was a time of dreamers, after all. One such concept was given a dimensional existence with the construction, in the early 20th century, of the Victoria Monument in London. Designed by Sir Thomas Brock (known in the numismatic world for his 1893-debuted ‘veiled head’ effigy of Victoria), it was commissioned after her death and was built to give physical form to the virtues that Victoria was said to embody. We could write a whole article about this 25 m tall, 2300 ton stone monument, but it’s the coins we’re looking at here.

A six coin series to be released approximately every six months, they take the ‘Queen’s Virtues’ and give them artistic realisation. First to appear is Victory, shown most prominently on the monument at the very top in gilded bronze. Britain’s military domiance at this time, particularly naval, is told through this statues position on the monument, signifying an end to conflict and the start of a time of peace. It fell to Elles Kloosterman to do the design, a Dutch artist with many years experience in coins. In a time when conceptual personifications are more popular than ever in the coin world, this still stands out as a fine piece of work indeed. The way the wings and the palm arc into each is exceptional, as is the flowing gown. It has a more modern feel, evolved from the original rather than slavishly copying it.

The design of the first coin makes us hopeful that this will grow into a fine set of six. Two variants on offer to begin – a 1 oz silver proof and a 1 oz gold proof. There’s no news on bullion versions, but there is prior precedent, and with the end of Jody Clark’s ‘Queen’s Beasts’ bullion series, there’s certainly a hole in the market for them. Seems a no-brainer to me, but what do I know… Each of the pair is well presented and mintages are not excessive (2,500 and 250 respectively). In an unusual touch, buyers of the gold coin (£2,995) can claim a free hamper worth around £180, while those opting for the silver (£99), can claim a tea caddy (EIC take their tea VERY seriously!). Just enter the code VICTORYGOLD or VICTORYSILVER at checkout on the EIC estore. Available now. Nice.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Issued on the occasion of the 95th Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2021, this innovative and thought-provoking new gold and silver coin collection is inspired by the ‘Virtues of a Queen’. Widely acknowledged as principles founded by Queen Victoria in the Victorian Age and carried forward by Queen Elizabeth II, they demonstrate the core virtues both are considered to have held and to hold. The conscious effort of acquiring and maintaining one’s own code of moral values, a virtue is a custom when cultivated becomes more prevalent in life. Diligently observing the practise of being virtuous enables a personal nurturing, leading to a more successful life. They demonstrate the core beliefs considered to be central to contentment and happiness.

The first coin in this magnificent series represents Victory, perhaps one of the most prominent virtues a Monarch can behold. Defined as the success or triumph of overcoming an enemy, Victory is a key element in both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Victory signals the end of conflict and a celebration of peace. The Queen as Sovereign is Head of the Armed Forces and is still the only person able to formally declare war and more crucially, an end to conflict.

The exquisite designs in the six-coin collection are created by acclaimed artist Elles Kloosterman whose reverse illustrations are fittingly based on the acclaimed Victoria Memorial situated outside Buckingham Palace. The first coins dated 2021 features VICTORY with a detailed depiction of the standing allegorical figure atop the monument, she is carrying a victor’s palm in her left hand. Above the design along the edge is the text VICTORIA CONCORDIA CRESCIT (Victory through Harmony). The distinctive EIC privy mark is placed to the lower right, a mark of quality applied to all East India Company’s modern coinage. The obverse side includes the Commonwealth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by engraver Jody Clark and introduced onto the coinage of St Helena in 2019. The issuing authority ST HELENA is included in the legend surrounding the Queen’s likeness with the denomination included below.

THE SIX VIRTUES by EIC

01 VICTORY: VICTORIA CONCORDIA CRESCIT – ‘Victory through Harmony’

Our first coin in the series features the allegorical representation of Victory inspired from the classic and muchadmired Victoria Memorial. She is depicted facing left, a victor’s palm held in her left hand, her right arm outstretched in triumph.

Victory is said to be the achievement of mastery, success and overcoming an enemy. A key virtue recognised in both Victoria’s and Elizabeth II’s reign holds a position at the very top of the Victoria Memorial monument. In gilded bronze stands a Winged Victory on a globe holding a victors palm. The victors palm represents victory, triumph and peace, a symbol originating from the Middle East.

02 TRUTH : VINCIT VERITAS OMNIA – ‘Truth Conquers All ’ (SPRING 2021)

Featuring a design inspired directly from the Victorian Memorial, the third coin representing Truth will depict a gladwinged figure of Truth, holding up a mirror to Nature, standing between a child bearing a palm-branch and a seated woman searching in a scroll for the truth. It is said that the Victorian Era set the foundation for the basic principle and importance of being and acting truthfully as a core virtue and can be directly attributed to Queen Victoria herself. In modern times Queen Elizabeth II is known to have a compelling sense of herself as a spiritual being who is the searcher and the seeker of truth.

03 CHARITY: IN OMNIBUS CARITAS – ‘In All Things Charity’ (AUTUMN 2021)

The second coin in the series is dedicated to Charity and will depict a design inspired by the monument showing the allegorical figure caringfor the young. This warm and touching depiction of ‘Motherhood’ symbolises the virtue of Charity. It is said to represent the virtue of making charitable efforts to take care of the suffering. As Monarch, both Queens are considered to have held and to exercise the virtue of
Charity.

04 JUSTICE: FIAT JUSTITIA – ‘Let Justice Be Done’ (SPRING 2022)

The fourth coin will illustrate a Winged Angel of Justice with sword in hand symbolising the reputation of a just and righteous Queen. The child to her left carries her scales of justice, symbol of unbiased pronouncement. The Victoria Memorial sees Queen Victoria flanked on both sides by the principles of Truth and Justice. The Justice allegory is symbolic of the virtue of being just and fair in all circumstance and treatment. As Sovereign and by the coronation oath, the Queen has a duty to cause Law and Justice with mercy to be administered to all.

05 COURAGE: CONSILIO ET ANIMIS – ‘By Wisdom and Courage’ (AUTUMN 2022)

Our fifth coin in the series will show the allegorical symbol of Courage wearing a helmet and bearing a club with cloak swirling in the wind. As Queen and Head of the Commonwealth, courage as a virtue is repeatedly attributed to Queen Elizabeth II throughout her role as the Longest Reigning Monarch. The virtue of Courage is said to be the one which makes all others possible. In its simplest form it is doing what one knows they need to do however challenging or difficult. It takes many forms including the courage to do what is right, to face personal fear, to push forward through frustration and to tell the truth.

06 CONSTANCY: INTER MUTANDA CONSTANTIA – ‘Steadfast in the midst of change’ (SPRING 2023)

The sixth and final coin will highlight the image of Constancy holding a ship’s compass symbolising the virtue of remaining on course and committed in purpose. The Diamond Jubilees of both Queen Victoria (1897) and Queen Elizabeth II (2012) reaffirmed the two Queen’s commitment and endurance to their subjects and their position as well as the love of the people for their Sovereign. The quality of being faithful, enduring and dependable, Constancy is a virtue which captures the essence of being unchanging or unwavering in purpose, love, or loyalty. Demonstrating a firmness of mind and faithfulness to their cause it is a virtue attributed to both Monarchs who reached their respective milestone anniversaries.

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Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION £1 (Saint Helena) £5 (Saint Helena)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm 32.0 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MODIFICATIONS None None
MINTAGE 2,500 250
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
THE EAST INDIA COMPANY